The selfie bandwagon

Taking photos of oneself in bathroom mirrors has been the rage for years now, but I’ve never jumped on that bandwagon. Of course, the photos are normally shot with cell phones, and if you’re a good-looking babe your butt and boobs are center stage.

I’m not a good-looking babe, and I’m not using a cell phone. I used my Canon. That’s our main bathroom downstairs. It has a tub, which is rare in Mexico. The other bathroom, upstairs, just sports a shower stall. Those wall tiles are green and white. I don’t recall why we made the mirror so huge. Our biggest regret is that we installed only one sink when the counter is about a mile long, and a second or third sink would fit nicely.

And here’s another photo. I took it today through the small window in the upstairs bathroom. It’s the only window in the house that faces out back. The wall you see at the bottom is part of our house. There is a parallel street just beyond.

An extended family lived in that lot with two now-crumbling houses for years. One day, they were gone, leaving it like a ghost town.

I had a surprise this morning. I drove downtown to the post office, something I do once every two weeks, to check the contents of my PO box. The reason I go only once every two weeks is because there is rarely anything there, which is the way I like it. Ninety-nine percent of what I find is from the United States.

There was a check from the U.S. Treasury for $600, a Kung Flu payment from “President Donald J. Trump.” There are a number of odd elements to this. One is that I did not receive the first Kung Flu payment because, the IRS informed me, we file taxes jointly and my child bride does not qualify for a Kung Flu payment, so nothing came.

So why did this one come? The second odd element is that it came in a window envelope and was completely obvious that it was a check from the U.S. Treasury. The probability of its being stolen was sky-high, but it wasn’t.

A tip of the sombrero to the Mexican postal system.

I am opposed to this payment that is sent to just about everyone regardless of need. It’s a textbook example of why America is chest-deep in debt. I do not need the money, and many — likely most — of those who received it do not need it either.

And it has delivered a dilemma. What the devil am I going to do with it? I cannot cash it. I cannot deposit it to my Mexican bank account, so …

I have a year to figure it out. That’s what the check says.

30 thoughts on “The selfie bandwagon

  1. One easy solution would be to endorse it to me and let me deposit it. I could give you a worthless note, that you could later write off as an uncollectable personal loan. Don’t feel guilty. The purpose of this check is not a handout to you, but to stimulate the economy from your spending. A retailer makes a sale and a profit, the manufacturer sells a product, and somebody had a job making whatever you bought. I promise you I will spend it only on Made in America items. (If I can find $600 worth.)


  2. I was going to say you probably mistakenly got mine! That’s the only explanation I can imagine.

    Sorry for your bathroom problems.


        1. Carole: Ah, now I see. I’m a little slow and dimwitted at times. But it’s no big problem, just a small annoyance at times. Cannot imagine why it did not occur to me during the construction process. I was less dimwitted in those distant days.


  3. Cash that thing right away, and buy silver. It is down today. The U.S. dollar will be worth nothing by the time we get the Democrats out of office. They are such crooks. They are buying real estate and precious metals like there is no tomorrow.

    Get real silver and gold, not a piece of paper. They can print unending amounts of deposit certificates, but they can’t print gold or silver or jars of peanut butter.

    Good luck finding silver, you may have better luck finding it in Mexico.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Do you believe that the peso will retain its value as the other countries of this world print currency to pay off their national debt? Bond holders, savers and retired folks will end up screwed big time. Put that money into something solid fast.


    1. Robert: I wonder that very question myself. Mexico is not on a binge of currency printing, though it does have much higher inflation than the industrialized world. But if the USA continues printing trillions of dollars, and the Mexican government doesn’t follow suit with the peso, then yes, it seems likely we could see a world where such currencies do much better than the USD. At least in theory. It’s much harder to imagine that such a thing would actually occur.


      Kim G


  5. If you still have that check señor, please just endorse and drop it in the mail to me.

    I would like to make a longer comment, but I must get out and find a few cases of peanut butter. Think I should order that on


  6. Remember the 1980s? The peso lost value through devaluation after devaluation. Only intervention by the IMF finally stabilized it.

    The peso used to be worth 12.5 cents, or eight to the dollar. Then the government went on a spending spree. They tried to solve social problems with the printing press.

    Dollar bank accounts were frozen. People lost their shirts. Those who had outstanding loans from banks outside Mexico still had to pay those dollar denominated loans in dollars.

    Times were tough.


  7. In reality, estimado Felipe, the peso is now around 20,000 to 1usd. It lost 3 zeros befor you arrived here. And yes, it was the result of poor monetary policy by the PRI. The 8 to 1 rate was a long time ago. When I was young it was 12.50 to 1 and stayed that way for several decades.

    The dollar accounts were confiscated, not frozen. They were converted to pesos at a rate far below the exchange rate at the moment. I seem to remember recieving around 50 to 1 when the rate was somewhere near 100 to 1. Blatant theft by JLP and the PRI. That was the beginning of the constant devaluations during the 1980s and a very difficult time for many of us.


    1. Antonio: Take another look at what I wrote: 20 to 1 now. And when I got here in 2000, if memory serves, and I think it does, the rate was in the ballpark of 10 to 1.

      By the way, when you write 20,000 with a comma, keep in mind that English speakers use a period, so 20.000. I wish I could get 20,000 pesos to a buck. I could retire.


      1. Yes, I am aware of the current exchange rate of around 20 to 1. I did not misunderstand a thing. The peso lost 3 zeros in 1993 when the exchange rate after a decade of continuous devaluation that had reached over 3,000 to 1 overnight became 3 to1. (Yes, that is a comma. We use that to separate figures to the left of the decimal point, not a period, in groups of 3 just as you do.) That ended my days as a multimillionario!

        The government issued the “nuevo peso” in 1993 when they removed the 3 zeros from the currency. Sums had become so large, calculations had become almost impossible. Plus there was a pyschological effect that helped calm the economy. New coins and banknotes all had “nuevo peso” on them. After several years the Banco de México began removing the nuevo peso and issuing currency that was once again just the peso. So yes, the rate today is 20 to 1 but in old peso terms, it is 20,000.00 to 1.

        You have lived here through a time of relative currency stability. In 1990 your café americano would have cost you 800 to 1,000 pesos. Vehicles and other large goods were priced in millions.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. In 1981 I gave my wife’s uncle a ride to his bank. He convinced me to open a dollar account because of the wonderful interest rate. Luckily, I only had about 400 dollars on me at the time. And that was the last of the 400 dollars.
    In 2004, we were in Guadalajara. So we dropped by the bank to inquire about my account. The lady was perplexed. She said it would take a couple of weeks or a month to figure out what was what.
    I saw the writing on the wall. It was over and done.
    Then came FBAR. My kids saw that the IRS had an amnesty program for those with foreign bank accounts. They urged me to apply. So, I did. Finally, I got a letter from the IRS that said angrily that the IRS was not my collection service. I guess the amnesty was just for the big players.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. If you still had an American checking account, you could use your telephone to shoot an image of the check and then deposit it electronically. But you don’t, so you can’t.

    Even though I have a northern checking account, I can’t take advantage of an electronic deposit of my stimulus check because I was excluded from Uncle Sam’s largesse. Both times.


    1. Señor Cotton: My having posted that topic has resulted in my now having a number of options to cash that check, plus the other one from the IRS, a tax refund, that may be en route too. I told the IRS to electronically deposit it in my sole remaining U.S. financial account, a money market checking account at Vanguard, but I don’t know if that’s going to work. Since Banamex USA dumped me like a hot potato in 2014 due to the cursed FATCA, I have found no way to open another U.S. bank account without physically going up there and lying about having a U.S. address.

      The State Department Federal Credit Union in Virginia seems to be the answer to my ills. I have applied online and await an answer. It caters to people in my position. I was also not aware of that business of depositing checks by photographing them till just last week. I often am clueless. Modern technology is incredible.

      As for your not getting the Kung Flu payment, well, it’s because you’re filthy rich and shouldn’t get it. I am not filthy rich, but the Kung Flu hysteria has not affected me financially at all, so I shouldn’t be getting it either. It’s absurd.


  10. Felipe: Just to add what Antonio said: thirty-some years ago, over a few months, folks in Mexico figuratively went to bed with a hundred dollar bill in their pocket and woke up with a dime there instead. (in Pesos of course). One very well-off friend told me it took her eleven years to recover from those devaluations. And, unlike Robert, I sure am glad that I didn’t open a Mexican bank account paying the high interest like everyone was urging me.
    You got a check? My wife’s and my rebate came as a debit card.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pablo: Yes, I know of the financial messes that have happened in Mexico, and I pray they are in the past, at least the really bad ones. I blame the PRI. Why people continue to vote for them amazes me.

      Yep, a paper check.

      Liked by 1 person

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